In a recent article in this journal, Dos Santos et al. (2018) report a case of ayahuasca use by a man with aphantasia. This account is the first such report of the use of a psychedelic agent by someone with aphantasia. Surprisingly, the case, SE, reported an improvement in their visual imagery following one particular instance of ayahuasca use. In support of Dos Santos et al.’s (2018) favored psychological explanation for improvement and their suggestion that SE’s aphantasia was acquired rather than congenital, this letter reports on a case study of an individual with apparent congenital aphantasia who has experienced no visual imagery, despite reported having excessively smoked N,N-dimethyltryptamine. It is proposed that the theoretical distinction between acquired and congenital aphantasia be further explored with regard to the use of psychedelics. In addition, further research with psychedelics should include self-report measures that can index aphantasia, such as the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire, as well as behavioral tasks, such as those measuring binocular rivalry.
Little is known about individual differences in Hallucinogen Persisting Perceptual Disorder (HPPD). This study investigated visual processing style and personality across two HPPD types (HPPD I and HPPD II) and a Non-HPPD group.
An online survey was delivered to participants sourced from online HPPD and psychedelic user groups and forums (N = 117). Using one-way ANOVA, respondents were compared across four measures of individual difference. Using logistic regression, a range of visual symptoms and experiences were investigated as potential predictors of group categorisation.
The HPPD I group had higher absorption and visual apophenia scores than the other groups and was predicted by higher drug use. The HPPD II group showed significantly higher trait anxiety than both other groups. Across the HPPD groups, HPPD II categorisation was also predicted by increased negative precipitating experiences, lack of prior knowledge and pre-existing anxiety diagnoses.
Anxiety, negative precipitating experiences and lack of prior knowledge are associated with negative experiences of persistent visual symptoms following hallucinogen use, whilst higher absorption and visual apophenia are associated with positive or neutral experiences. Together these findings indicate that differences in personality may play a role in determining an individual's experience of HPPD, highlighting the role of individual difference research in expanding knowledge around HPPD.
The Conceptual Framework of Harmful Gambling moves beyond a symptoms-based view of harm and addresses a broad set of factors related to the risks and effects of gambling harmfully at the individual, family, and community levels. Coauthored by international research experts and informed by multiple stakeholders, Gambling Research Exchange (GREO) facilitated the framework development in 2013 and retains responsibility for regular updates and mobilization. This review article presents information about the revised version of the Conceptual Framework of Harmful Gambling completed in late 2018.
We describe eight interrelated factors depicted in the framework that represent major themes in gambling ranging from the specific (gambling environment, exposure, gambling types, and treatment resources) to the general (cultural, social, psychological, and biological influences). After outlining the framework development and collaborative process, we highlight new topics for the recent update that reflect changes in the gambling landscape and prominent discourses in the scientific community. Some of these topics include social and economic impacts of gambling, and a new model of understanding gambling related harm.
Discussion and conclusions
We address the relevance of the CFHG to the gambling and behavioral addictions research community. Harm-based frameworks have been undertaken in other areas of addiction that can both inform and be informed by a model dedicated to harmful gambling. Further, the framework brings a multi-disciplinary perspective to bear on antecedents and factors that co-occur with harmful gambling.